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SPRYCEL  (Dasatinib)   

Warning: A warning has been issued by the Federal Drug Administration regarding the risk of arterial hypertension within the lungs of patients taking Sprycel. This pulmonary arterial hypertension can have harmful effects on heart function. The heart’s ability to adequately supply blood to the lungs can be adversely impacted with the use of this medication. Swelling, fatigue, and shortness of breath are all signs of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Incidence of such symptoms should be reported to a medical professional immediately.

Indications: A tyrosine kinase inhibitor, this medication is indicated for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia as well as chronic myeloid leukemia. Leukemia causes abnormal protein production, which results in abnormal chromosome development. Consequently, these abnormal chromosomes result in unlimited multiplication of white blood cells. This medication blocks the action of this abnormal protein and therefore halts the indefinite multiplication of cancerous cells as well as tumor growth.

 

Sprycel may also be used to treat metastatic melanoma and other medical conditions not mentioned in this article; talk to your physician or pharmacist for more information.  

 

Dosage: Sprycel is available in tablet form to be taken by mouth. It is recommended that chronic myeloid leukemia be treated with 100 mg, to be taken by mouth once daily, in the chronic phase. For treatment of accelerated phase chronic myeloid leukemia, 140 mg of this medication should be ingested by mouth, once daily. Tablets are to be taken whole, with or without food. Tablets should never be bitten, broken, or crushed. The dosage may be escalated to 180 mg per day should cytogenetic or hematologic response not be successful.

Missed doses should be taken as soon as remembered unless it is nearly time for the following dose. In this case, only the present dose should be ingested. Multiple doses are never to be taken to make up for missed doses.

Overdose: any chemotherapy drug overdose can be fatal. The risk of complication is even higher when the drug is overdosed for a long term. In fact, overdosing of certain chemotherapy drugs, including Sprycel, can lead to death. Even in the absence of overdose, Sprycel can damage the bone marrow. It is extremely important that you take the medication as indicated by your health care provider or according to the directions on the label.    

Missing dose: patients shopuld do their best to take the medication around the same time every day. In case you forget to take a dose, take the missed one as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, do not double the next dose to recover the missed one. Contact your doctor or wait to go back to your regular schedule.    

Storage: keep Sprycel tightly closed in the container it came, out of the reach of children. Store Sprycel at room temperature (15-25 ° C), away from heat above 40 ° C, light and moisture. Sprycel and all other medications should not be used beyond the expiration date printed on the container.

Contraindication : Sprycel is contraindicated in case of:  

  • allergy to the drug or any of the constituents 
  • allergy to lactose  
  • pregnancy  
  • Breast-feeding.   

Interactions: Etravirine, Carbamazepine, and Oxcarbazepine are examples of strong CYP3A4 inducers that may reduce plasma concentrations of this medication. Nefazodone, Amprenavir, and Ritonavir are examples of CYP3A4 inhibitors which can exaggerate plasma concentrations of this medication. As a result, the use of such medications is best avoided during treatment with Sprycel.

Medications which reduce stomach acid should also not be taken concurrently with this medication. While medications used to neutralize stomach acid may be used, they must not be taken within two hours before or after ingestion of this drug.

Blood thinners such as Warfarin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen should not be taken while a patient is being treated with Sprycel. Seizure medications and live vaccinations should also be avoided during treatment.

Side effects: In addition to attacking cancer cells, Sprycel may interfere with certain normal cells, and lead to the development of side effects in some patients; most common Sprycel side effects include: 

  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • weakness
  • joint pain or pain in your hands or the feet
  • skin rash
  • peeling skin
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain or swelling 
  • mouth sores or swelling and pain inside your mouth

If the side effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • signs of infections: fever, sore throat, chills...
  • sudden severe headache
  • sudden weight gain
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • coughing up bloody mucus
  • persistent chest pain or chest pressure
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • black and tarry stools
  • blood in stools or urine
  • bloody vomit
  • slow or difficult speech
  • Weakness or numbness of an arm or leg 
  • swelling of the eyes, hands, arms, feet, ankles or lower legs

 

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